Thursday, 19 August 2010

“The Capitol Recordings” by LOUIS PRIMA, KEELY SMITH & SAM BUTERA. A Review Of The 1994 Bear Family 8CD Box Set (With 7”, EP and LP Discographies).

"…Gonna Take A Sentimental Journey…To Renew Old Memories…"

Released September 1994 in Germany, Bear Family’s “The Capitol Recordings” offers up a massive 198 studio and live tracks remastered across 8 CDs - 17 of which are previously unreleased.

The 12” x 12” box houses a 40-page album-sized booklet with comprehensive Billy Vera liner notes, studio photos of all the key musicians and singers, publicity stills from the movies “Hey Boy! Hey Girl!” and “Twist All Night”, a two-page album-covers spread in colour - and a fully detailed Discography at the rear by RICHARD WEIZE and LARRY ZWISOHN. It was produced by VOYLE GILMORE and long-time tape engineer ADAM SKEAPING did the mastering.
The sound quality is everything you would expect from people who love what they’re doing – fabulous and full – especially on the 1960's Stereo versions.

In detail, Bear Family BCD 15776 HI breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 Louis Prima, 27 Tracks, 79:19 minutes
Previously unreleased track - “Much Too Young To Loose My Mind” (23)

Disc 2 Louis Prima, 23 Tracks, 66:35 minutes
Previously unreleased tracks - “The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” (2), “Natural Guy” (3) and “Oh, Marie (Alternate)” (23)

Disc 3 Louis Prima, 26 Tracks, 78:58 minutes
Previously unreleased track – “John Ping Pong” (14)

Disc 4 Louis Prima, 18 Tracks, 68:42 minutes
Previously unreleased track – “Judy (Live At The Sahara)” (9)

Disc 5 Keely Smith, 27 Tracks, 77:13 minutes
Previously unreleased tracks – “I Would Do Most Anything For You” (2), “Rock-A-Doodle-Doo” (4), “All The Things You Are” (15) and “Just As Much” (24)

Disc 6 Keely Smith, 27 Tracks, 73:38 minutes

Disc 7 Sam Butera, 25 Tracks, 57:37 minutes
Previously unreleased tracks – “Seven Out” (5), “The Love Nest” (8), “Put Your Mind At Ease” (9),”Hold Out For Love” (11) and “Dig That Crazy Chick” (14)

Disc 8 Sam Butera, 25 Tracks, 60:32 minutes
Previously unreleased track – “Bugs” (1) and “Ol’ Man River (Alternate)” (25)

You get all tracks for 23 x 7” Extended Plays (“Don’t Let A Memory” by Keely Smith is an exclusive track to that format), 24 x 7” singles (32 sides are non-album) and a whopping 15 full albums worth - with the 1961 set of “Hits Of Louis & Keely” being the only duplication. For those who want exact details, I’ve provided 7”, EP and LP discographies separately that reference the track placing in the box (see PS below). Keely’s duet with Frank Sinatra on “How Are Ya Fixed For Love” and its exclusive B-side “Nothing In Common” are also on here.

Fans of Keely Smith and Sam Butera should note that their 5 albums are all here and in STEREO (the mono mixes are only available now on original vinyl LPs) while the later Prima LPs also featured Keely’s vocal replacement GIA MAIONE. In fact it’s shocking to hear how good the Smith and Butera solo records are – warm and witty and just as effortlessly cool as King Louis.

In 2010, over a ton sterling might seem like a lot of Spondulicks to spend on a box set from 1994, but if you want the best and the deepest on these criminally forgotten geniuses of swing, jazz and fun, then this is the place to go. As with so many of these sumptuous Bear Family’s box sets, “The Capitol Recordings” is a thing of beauty and shows deep respect to entertainers almost too beautiful for this world…

Grade-A as ever boys…recommended.

PS: I've provided 7" single, EP and LP discographies in 3 separate posts in my "Discographies" blog file

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

INDEX - Artists, Albums, Record Labels, CD Remaster Engineers, Liner Notes Authors, Links etc